Nutrition and Information Guide: Carbohydrates Carbs Sugars and More

About carbohydrates, nutritional information guide, uses, effects of deficiency, overdoses, good sources of carbs, sugars, starches, and cellulose forms.


Use in the Body: Provides energy for body function and activity by supplying immediate calories, thus allowing the body to use its protein for building and repairing tissues rather than energy. Carbohydrates assist in digesting and assimilating foods and help regulate protein and fat metabolism.

Deficiency May Lead to: A deficiency of vitamin E. Low energy, poor health, mental depression.

Overdose May Lead to: Tooth decay, vitamin B deficiency, indigestion, heartburn, and nausea. Excessive use may lead to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, anemia, and kidney disorders. Many Americans eat too much refined sugar and starches, which creates a paradox of excess and deficiency, since these carbohydrates have no nutritional value and in fact deplete certain minerals.

Notes: There are 3 forms of carbohydrates:

1) Sugars--single (honey, fruits) and double (table sugar). Single sugars are the most easily digested. Sugars are converted to glucose, or blood sugar, for energy.

2) Starches--require long digestive action and, like sugar, are converted to glucose.

3) Cellulose--found in skins of fruits and vegetables, this carbohydrate cannot be digested and has no energy value, but it provides the roughage, or bulk, necessary to prevent constipation, regulate the bowels, and create the intestinal activity that prevents buildup of harmful bacteria in the stomach.

The U.S. is an overconsumer of carbohydrates, most of them refined. The processing of white flour and white sugar leaves these products without nutritional value. Therefore, people tend to eat more of them to satisfy their natural craving for carbohydrates. The result is a nation suffering from what one nutritionist calls "the White Plague": a high rate of diseases affecting the heart and arteries. According to reports concerning autopsies performed on American soldiers killed in Vietnam, the average young American is already a candidate for hardening of the arteries, and eventual heart attacks. The high incidence of stomach cancer in this country may be attributable to the fact that processed flour and rice do not have the roughage needed in the stomach.

Best Sources: Dehydrated fruits, unrefined wheats and cereals, legumes, nuts, potatoes (with skin) and other root vegetables, nonroot vegetables, fruits, seeds, honey, sugar. Refined sugar and starches, and the products made from them (white bread, white flour, table sugar, processed potato chips, processed rice), are not only worthless but harmful to health.

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